Category Archives: Richard Daley

Obama Rezko Daley Blagojevich Chicago corruption, Chris Kelly and other mysterious deaths, Thomas R. Bennett Chicago perspective

Obama Rezko Daley Blagojevich Chicago corruption, Chris Kelly and other mysterious deaths, Thomas R. Bennett Chicago perspective 

“Why was Christopher Kelly transported past 2 trauma facilities on the way to Stroger Hospital?”…Thomas R. Bennett

From Nuclear Chicago.

About

“Thomas R. Bennett, owner and publisher of NUCLEAR | CHICAGO is also the Principal of a Chicago-based commercial real estate company as well as the sponsor of several emerging technology and Next Generation Commerce early-stage investments.

Mr. Bennett’s citizen journalism endeavor via NUCLEAR | CHICAGO while recent, is not new to the extended Bennett family.  Investigative journalism and law enforcement is very much a part of Mr. Bennett’s DNA as several of Mr. Bennett’s relatives have backgrounds in both law enforcement and media.

In fact, the catalyst for Mr. Bennett establishing NUCLEAR | CHICAGO can be attributed to both Mr. Bennett’s aggressive and determined approach for uncovering The Truth as well as influenced by the legacy that was established by Mr. Bennett’s Irish Immigrant Great Uncle – Michael ‘Iron Mike’ Hughes.

‘Iron Mike’ Hughes, a native of Ballygar in County Galway, Ireland, was the Chief of the Chicago Police Department, and former Chief of Detectives during the Era in which Al Capone and his notorious gang of hoodlums were roaming the streets of Chicago.  According to the Chicago Tribune, ‘Iron Mike’ Hughes – had a ‘record without parallel’ and was regarded as ‘the personal nemesis of all crookdom’ during his tenure at the Chicago Police Department.

Upon Iron Mike’s retirement in November 1935 after a 41-year career with the Chicago Police Department, Iron Mike embarked upon a career as a journalist and reporter with the The Chicago American – the last of the aggressive journalistic traditions in Chicago.

In recent years, Mr. Bennett has been exposed to various levels of ‘crookdom’ emanating from Rich Daley’s City Hall for the past several years.  To this end, the final catalyst for Mr. Bennett’s launch of NUCLEAR | CHICAGO can be attributed to a handful of corrupt events that Mr. Bennett was subjected to beginning in 2007.  NUCLEAR | CHICAGO will be reporting upon his  own experience in great detail, as well as other instances of ‘crookdom’ throughout Illinois.

NUCLEAR | CHICAGO will be posting the biographies of other journalists and related team members in coming weeks.”

MISSION

“Our mission is to produce very relevant, uncensored (and unbiased), high-quality, old-school investigative journalism material. NUCLEAR | CHICAGO will be distributed via web, print, television mainstream media partnerships and radio partnerships.

NUCLEAR | CHICAGO is delivering the nuclear energy required to disinfect the systemic and pervasive public corruption that pollutes our city, state and our nation.

The majority of our local, state and national policy-makers have demonstrated both a lack of respect and understanding toward the U.S. Justice Louis Brandeis philosophy related to maintaining the benefits of openness and transparency in government – “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

As both publisher and owner of NUCLEAR | CHICAGO, I invoke the above-Brandeis quote as it’s appearing that sunlight alone is ineffectual in Chicago.

To this end, the only option remaining for our city, our state and our democracy is The Nuclear Option.

NUCLEAR | CHICAGO will create effective levels of openness, transparency and accountability by simply going nuclear and reporting upon what the local and national media essentially censure and refuse to report upon.

Stay tuned and stay informed.”

http://www.nuclearchicago.com/

Thomas Bennett sent the link to the following video to me yesterday. Mr. Bennett addresses the bigger picture of Chicago, not just the Blagojevich trial, including former mayor Daley. He also provides some additional insight into the death and treatment of Christopher kelly and the mysterious deaths of others tied to Rezko and Obama.

Breitbart.tv » The B-Cast B-Side: Blago Connections Raise All Kinds of Concerns.

From Chicago Breaking News September 13, 2009.

“Flores-Buhelos initially told police that Friday night she received
text messages from Kelly — who was married but estranged from his
wife — saying that he had tried to kill himself, Welch said.

She then arrived from Chicago at the Forest Lumber Co. parking lot –
near a storage yard owned by Kelly’s company — and found Kelly inside
his car, covered in vomit. She pushed him into the passenger seat,
Welch said, and apparently drove to Oak Forest Hospital.

What happened there, and the kind of medical care Kelly received after
arriving, are among the remaining mysteries behind his death.

After initially seeming incoherent, Kelly apparently became lucid
enough to speak to police and was, at one point early Saturday
morning, stabilized.

Later that morning, his condition apparently deteriorated enough for
hospital officials to send Kelly to Stroger Hospital in Chicago, about
25 miles away from Oak Forest.

Cook County health officials said Oak Forest Hospital doctors thought
it made more sense for him to be treated at Stroger, which, unlike
their hospital, has a trauma center.

When asked why Kelly wasn’t transferred to a closer hospital, Cook
County Health and Hospitals System spokesman Lucio Guerrero said it’s
“standard procedure” to transfer patients from one county health
facility to Stroger when trauma care is needed after they have been
stabilized.

“The treatment or treatments necessary could be better facilitated at
Stroger,” wrote Marcel Bright, Stroger Hospital spokesman, in an
e-mail. “He was stabilized before being transported.”

Kelly was pronounced dead inside Stroger at 10:46 a.m. Saturday, officials said.”

http://archive.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/09/mayor-kellys-girlfriend-is-lawyered-up-not-talking.html

“He was stabilized before being transported.”

Apparently not!

Illinois July Job Losses leads nation, Obama cronies raise taxes and government spending, IL unemployment rate 9.5 percent

Illinois July Job Losses leads nation, Obama cronies raise taxes and government spending,  IL unemployment rate 9.5 percent

As Obama formulates another award winning solution for creating jobs, you know like the Stimulus Bill, Illinois, Obama’s home state, gained recognition recently for having the highest job losses in the nation.

From the Chicago Daily Observer August 23, 2011.

“Illinois Leads Nation in Jobs Losses”

“Nationally, lawmakers and economists are debating what policy changes will help the U.S. progress toward economic recovery. Here in Illinois, residents are getting a harsh lesson of what happens when taxes go up, government spending isn’t reformed and past-due bills continue to go unpaid.

Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics delivered three pieces of bad news to Illinois:

The number of Illinoisans employed continues to fall.

Illinois lost more jobs during the month of July than any other state in the nation. After losing 7,200 jobs in June, Illinois lost an additional 24,900 non-farm payroll jobs in July.

The Illinois unemployment rate, which rose to 9.5 percent, now exceeds the national rate.
“The policies currently in place – higher taxes, more spending, and unreformed liabilities – are clearly not working for those who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Kristina Rasmussen, executive vice president at the Illinois Policy Institute. “A great starting place for lawmakers eager to create an atmosphere of job growth would be to repeal the recent income tax increase, which robs families and businesses of resources they could put to better use.””

Read more:

http://www.cdobs.com/archive/featured/illinois-leads-nation-in-jobs-losses/

Blagojevich trial jury, William Cellini trial, Obama trial, Operation Board Games players tied to Rezko

Blagojevich trial jury, William Cellini trial, Obama trial, Operation Board Games players tied to Rezko

“Why was Obama in constant contact with Tony Rezko in 2004 when Rezko was conspiring with William Cellini to use TRS, Teacher Retirement Fund, assets for political gain and personal enrichment?”…Citizen Wells

“I believe I’m more pristine on Rezko than him.”…Rod Blagojevich

“There is enough corruption in Illinois so that all it takes is someone who is serious about finding it to uncover it. If a U.S. attorney is not finding corruption in Illinois, they’re not seriously looking for it.”…Northwestern Law Professor James Lindgren

The jury in the Rod Blagojevich trial has been given their instructions and ordinarily I might say are determining the fate of Blagojevich. However, it is apparent to me that the fate of Blagojevich, Rezko and Obama was sealed in 2006 when the fix was cast. The trial of William Cellini is scheduled to begin in August.

From the Chicago Tribune and John Kass November 16, 2008.

“Watching the quiet little man with the fresh Julius Caesar haircut plead innocent Friday to federal extortion and corruption charges, I wondered:

Was I in Chicago, or in Rome before the fall?

“Not guilty,” said William Cellini, 74, in a whisper.

Cellini wore a nice blue suit. What he didn’t wear was a neon sign on his head pronouncing him the boss hog of the Republican half of the bipartisan Illinois Combine that runs this state with Chicago machine Democrats.
Bill Cellini doesn’t need a neon sign. Everybody who is somebody knows who he is. He’s said to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Not bad for public service.

To fully appreciate our politics you’ve got to look at the connections. Sadly, this task is beyond the national press and some locals besotted with our renowned vintage, Combine Kool Aid.”

“Cellini is accused of helping shake down a Hollywood producer and politically connected Chicago investor Thomas Rosenberg for $1.5 million in campaign cash for Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Cellini also is accused as a point man in a plot to remove U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald as federal prosecutor.”

“Illinois is Six Degrees of Bill Cellini.

Amazingly, Webb and Cellini are listed together on the board of directors of Lakeside Bank, run by the politically influential Cacciatore family.

One of the original Lakeside Bank investors is Fred Bruno Barbara, the Bridgeport trucking boss, waste management expert and close friend/fashionista of Mayor Richard Daley.

Barbara came up in testimony in the federal Family Secrets trial of mob bosses. A witness said Barbara, who was not charged, went along on fire-bombing runs with Chinatown crew chief Angelo “the Hook” LaPietra.”

“The Combine wants Fitzgerald promoted out of town. But President-elect Barack Obama has promised newspaper editorial boards he would keep Fitzgerald in Chicago to fight political corruption.

That’s the same President-elect Obama with Mayor Daley’s guy Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, and another Daley guy, David Axelrod, as Obama’s chief strategist. The mayor’s brother Billy is one of Obama’s chief economic advisers. Whew!

Some political analysts become quite upset when “Daley machine” and “Obama” are mentioned in my column. They feel compelled to give me a vigorous corrective. But this same Flat Earth society denied the existence of a Combine for years, then shut up for a while when Obama’s real estate fairy Tony Rezko was convicted in the federal government’s Operation Board Games probe.

The case exposed the Combine in detail, illustrating how Republican and Democratic insiders stacked state pension boards to reap millions upon millions in pension investment fees. The Cellini case is fruit of Rezko’s tree.”

Read more:

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2008-11-16/news/0811150753_1_boss-illinois-mayor-richard-daley

Cellini did not get Patrick Fitzgerald removed from Chicago, or did he?

Feb 12, 2009

“US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who brought criminal fraud charges against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, will stay on with the Obama administration”…Pete Williams, NBC

July 30,  2009

Patrick Fitzgerald was named interim chairman of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys (AGAC).

As long as Obama controls the US Justice Department, there will be no Obama trial.

Blagojevich trial, Obama Levine ties, Stuart Levine must testify, Rezko trial, Politician A, Politician B, Springfield IL, Illinois capital, Purple hotel, Drug parties, Obama records

Blagojevich trial, Obama Levine ties, Stuart Levine must testify

Barack Obama and Stuart Levine

 

 

 From the Citizen Wells blog, April 2, 2008.

I repeat, April 2, 2008.

“We need to know the truth about Barack Obama. We need to know where Obama was on November 4, 1999. We need to know where Obama was and what he was doing during his term in the Illinois Senate. When I first read the allegations of Larry Sinclair, I was very skeptical. I am still somewhat skeptical. However, I went to the records of the Illinois Senate for November 4, 1999 and Barack Obama was not present. Sinclair alleges that he had 2 encounters with Obama from November 3 to November 8 1999. The first encounter was allegedly in a rented limo and involved drugs and gay sex. This alone was not a red flag for me but when you couple this information with Obama’s known association with criminals, with racists and hate mongers and his failure to provide his records while in the Illinois Senate, there is a legitimate need to get straight answers from Obama.”

“Lynn Sweet, a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times states:
“Instead, since I have some reporting history here, I am noting a pattern that has emerged: This is Obama’s third ethical conversion of convenience — taking on a higher standard, but only when it appears to be politically expedient. Obama is making government transparency and ethics a centerpiece of his presidential campaign.”
 
In a Tribune interview Thursday, the Illinois Democrat said he had no intention of sharing any of the documents he might still have in his possession.”
Next are the questions asked and responses from Obama. I know that many people have read this, but it is worth repeating:
“Q: It is kind of unknown where some of the records from your time in Springfield are located. Where is that stuff, what do you have?
“We had one district director. I had one staff person, so, you know, we didn’t have some elaborate sort of system. I didn’t at my disposal millions of dollars and potentially multiple staff people to conduct an archive. Now keep in mind, it is apples and oranges. First of all, I’m not the one who has made this an issue. We saw during the debate, Senator Clinton was asked about it and the suggestion was somehow they’ve done all they could. And my simple point was, I don’t think there is some smoking gun in these archives or something, or some damning evidence.”
 

“Q: What about your stuff, though? What do you have?
“I have no idea. I mean [muffled on recording]. I really don’t. Again, I did not have at my disposal. I wasn’t preparing for the Obama state senatorial library.”
Q: You must have kept some stuff. Correspondence, calendars?
“The problem is whatever remaining documents I have are inevitably incomplete. And then the questions going to be, where’s this or where’s that. Once I start heading down that road, then it puts me in a position that could end up being misleading. I don’t want to mislead people. I don’t know the extent of the records that I have as a state senator.”””

 

“The following is from Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times on November 11, 2007:
“On Friday, Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times reported that she had asked Obama at a news conference: “Do your state senate papers still exist? If they do, just where are they? And would you ever intend to make them public to be responsive to some requests?”
Sweet wrote that he replied: “Nobody has requested specific documents.”
But the Chicago Tribune has reported that it “requested documents from his time in Springfield and never received a response.””

Read more

 Is this one of the reasons Obama has kept hidden his IL Senate records?

From the Tony Rezko Trial

Remember, the IL State Capital is Springfield.

 “Tales of the ‘Purple Hotel’
March 31, 2008; 2:43 p.m.
Prosecutors have taken a turn from the track of the day’s testimony and are asking political fixer and prosecution star witness Stuart Levine again about his drug use, the first time they have done so since early in his testimony.
Levine has said he used a number of drugs in the 1980s and into 2004, including cocaine and crystal methamphetamine.
He said he would make cash withdrawals, give that money to five male friends and use drugs with them during hotel parties. Those parties took place in Springfield and Lincolnwood at a place Levine said he and his friends came to call “the Purple Hotel.””

“”I do not remember using drugs on that day”
April 3, 2008; 12:32 p.m.
One of defense attorney Joseph Duffy’s first stabs at tripping up star prosecution witness Stuart Levine involved an attempt to raise doubt about his state of mind the very first time he met Antoin “Tony” Rezko.
Levine had testified earlier that the two were introduced at a dinner party on Nov. 2, 2002, just days before the election that brought Gov. Rod Blagojevich to power. It was at that dinner that Levine testified he learned that Rezko had been blocking a real estate deal on which Levine had been seeking a sizeable kickback.
But Duffy produced a Levine credit card receipt showing a $761.87 transaction dated that day at a Lincolnwood hotel where Levine often went for all-day drug binges.”

“Levine explains decision to flip
April 3, 2008; 5:56 p.m.
Before Stuart Levine’s testimony ended for the day, he was walked through his decision to cooperate with prosecutors in their corruption case against Antoin “Tony” Rezko.
Rezko’s defense attorney Joseph Duffy wanted to explore Levine’s motivation and first asked about a conversation Levine had with his business partner Robert Weinstein after FBI agents had come to Levine’s home to confront him in May 2004.
Levine’s phone was still tapped, and he was recorded telling Weinstein that agents had visited him. But Levine said he did not remember telling his partner that agents had mentioned Rezko was a target of an investigation.
“The government’s looking for a big fish, and it’s Tony Rezko,” Duffy quoted Levine as saying on the tape, which was not played in court.
Duffy then took Levine through the time leading up to his eventual indictment in the Rosalind Franklin University School of Medicine and Science kickback case a year later, in May 2005.
Levine still had not agreed to cooperate, and Levine told Duffy that he did not believe the government was aware of the “secret part of his life,” meaning his drug abuse and hotel parties with male friends.” 

” Trail of receipts from the Purple Hotel
April 4, 2008; 10:55 a.m.
More tales of the Purple Hotel kicked off this morning’s session of the Antoin “Tony” Rezko corruption trial.
On Thursday, Rezko’s lawyer Joseph Duffy grilled prosecution star witness Stuart Levine about a $761 transaction on his credit card statement for Saturday, Nov. 2, 2002, at the garish purple-painted Lincolnwood hotel that at the time was part of the Radisson chain. Levine has testified that he and a regular group of “drug buddies” often went to the hotel for daylong binges of crystal meth, cocaine, animal tranquilizers and other drugs.
The significance of that date is that it was the same that Rezko and Levine first met. The occasion was a dinner party, and during the chitchat Levine has said the two men came to realize they had been on opposite sides of a shady real estate deal.
As Duffy tries to chip away at Levine’s credibility, the lawyer used the credit-card statement to suggest that Levine’s memory of that first meeting was suspect because he showed up at the party after leaving a drug binge.
Levine acknowledged that the charge on his credit card was likely legitimate, but repeatedly insisted that he did not remember being at the hotel on that day and considered it unlikely. Credit-card transactions are not always recorded on the same day a charge is actually made.
This morning, Duffy questioned Levine about more charges he incurred at the Radisson. On Saturday, Oct. 26, exactly one week before the dinner party, Levine’s credit-card statement reflected a $1,077 charge at the Radisson, and exactly a week before that there was another $1021 charge there.
Duffy appears to be trying to suggest that Levine had a regular Saturday thing at the Radisson with his drug buddies. In earlier testimony, Levine said the group would get together and party once or twice a month at the Lincolnwood hotel, and always on weekdays. Levine said he tried to hide his secret drug life from his family and wanted to be home and clear-headed on the weekends.”

Rezko Trial transcripts.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-rezko-court-story-7,0,5224754.htmlstory

 

 

Do Larry Sinclair’s allegations of a drug and sex encounter with Barack Obama in November, 1999 seem so far fetched?
 

From the Citizen Wells blog April 30, 2008.

“A comment was just posted on this blog. I recognize the poster from this blog and others I have posted on. Delenn has stated in the past that she was a chef and restaurant owner in Chicago and heard many rumors about Obama. Below is her comment about the Rezko trial, names being withheld and under reporting of the trial:

“Living in the Chicago area and being the “victim” of Chicago news media, I noticed early on in the Rezko trial that U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve quashed mention of politicians’ names except for a chosen few… so we have “Politician A,” “Poltician B,” and on and on down the alphabet. Judge St. Eve also ruled to keep jurors’ identities secret… which more than anything attests to the known potential for violence coming from those associated with Rezko, Levine, and likely from the political machines involved. And Judge St. Eve would not allow Levine to name names as to the identities of those present at the all-male parties involving drug use — parties attended by some of the city’s and state’s political powers-that-be as well as by those wanting favors. There was a “leak” months ago that Politician A is Governor Rod Blagojovich… but oddly no further identifying leaks materialized. Blagojovich has been candid in the past about his interest in running for US president — I think the “leak” was a way to shut him down, and frankly I believe that he was shut down to open the way for Obama’s candidacy, if not in 2008, then in 2012. I don’t know how coverage of this trial has been played elsewhere, but here it’s been curiously underplayed — odd indeed, considering the Chicago news media’s normal tendency to over-cover any major stories based in the area. I’ve suspected since early on in the trial that the under-coverage, and possibly even some of the court’s rulings regarding testimony, have been connected to Obama’s candidacy. Add to this that I haven’t seen a single television news story concerning the allegations of money laundering involving Robert Blackwell and Barack Obama and… well, the word “fishy” isn’t strong enough by half. The scents of coverup and collusion here in Chicagoland simply reek.””

Article

Politician A

Politician B

For the Blagojevich trial to be legitimate, for the charges in the indictment to be substantiated, Stuart Levine will take the stand, just as he did in the Tony Rezko trial. The question is, will Levine be restricted from naming politicians?

Will Obama’s name be mentioned with regularity in the Blagojevich trial, just as Blagojevich’s name was mentioned during the Rezko trial?

 

Footnote: For those really paying attention, you noticed that Larry Sinclair came out with his allegations of a drug and sex encounter with Obama months before Stuart Levine gave his testimony.

Blagojevich trial, Christopher Kelly, John Stroger, Orlando Jones, Dead men don’t talk or do they?, Obama and Blagojevich corruption cronies, Tony Rezko, Patti Rezko, Patti Blagojevich, Michelle Obama, Plenty of witnesses available

Blagojevich trial, Christopher Kelly, John Stroger, Orlando Jones, Dead men don’t talk or do they?

Three deaths.
Christopher Kelly  ( Suicide ?? )
John Stroger       ( Stroke complications )
Orlando Jones      ( Suicide ?? )
All three with connections to Rod Blagojevich and Barack Obama.
All three are mentioned in this article from March 29, 2008 by Evelyn Pringle.


“Any claim that Obama was unaware of the investigations into the corrupt dealings of Rezko with Illinois politicians in June 2005 is ridiculous. On February 15, 2005, the Chicago Tribune reported:

“Gov. Rod Blagojevich long has vowed to purge the Illinois tollway of cronyism, yet two of his closest friends and political advisers have links to food vendors awarded lucrative contracts to operate inside the toll road’s sleek new oases, government records show.” …

“The Subway sandwich shops and Panda Express Asian restaurants now being installed in the tollway’s seven revamped rest stops are controlled by firms with strong ties to the food-service empire of Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a Blagojevich confidant who has seeded the governor’s cabinet with former business underlings.”

Christopher Kelly, Blagojevich’s chief fundraiser, “who also recommended the tollway’s executive director for his job, is an investor in at least one Rezko-controlled food firm,” the Tribune wrote. On March 16, 2005, the Tribune reported that:

“City officials alleged Tuesday that a minority contractor at O’Hare International Airport acted as a front for a firm run by Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a top adviser and fundraiser for Gov. Rod Blagojevich….

“Rezko, a member of Blagojevich’s kitchen cabinet of advisers, has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks following questions about his links to operators of new tollway oasis franchises. The revamp of the oases is a showcase project for the Blagojevich administration.”

On May 15, 2005, the Sun-Times reported that the accusations by his father-in-law that Blagojevich doled out jobs for campaign contributions had “resulted in dozens of grand jury subpoenas being sent to the governor’s office, his unpaid advisers, agency directors and his top fund-raisers”.

Among those subpoenaed for documents, sources told the Times, were “Blagojevich’s biggest money men, Christopher Kelly and Antoin “Tony” Rezko.”

On May 20, 2005, less than a month before Obama bought the mansion, the Tribune reported that Resko, “has had a business relationship with First Lady Patti Blagojevich for eight years, the governor’s office acknowledged Thursday.”

Six months before Obama bought the strip of land from Rezko’s “wife” to enlarge his yard, on August 28, 2005, Natasha Korecki reported in the Sun-Times that, “there’s so much corruption to investigate in the Chicago area, the FBI is adding manpower.”

Robert Grant, FBI Special Agent in Charge, told the Times that he had reorganized the bureau to add a third public corruption squad, giving Chicago the largest corruption unit in the country, even bigger than those in New York and Los Angeles.”

“The “fashion show” was chaired by Rita Rezko, co-chaired by the Governor’s wife, Patti Blagojevich, and Michelle Obama was a special guest that day, according to Merriner.

Two weeks after the “fashion show,” on November 17, 2006, the Sun-Times reported that Blagojevich’s wife Patti got nearly $50,000 from a real estate deal in late 2002 involving Rezko.

In terms of dollar amounts of campaign contributions directly from Rezko in Illinois, the top four earners were, the now deceased President of the Cook County Board, John Stroger, Blagojevich, Chicago Mayor, Richard Daley, and Obama — in that order.

Rezko was the head of Stroger’s campaign finance committee at the same time that he served on Obama US Senate finance committee. 

When it came time for Stroger’s reelection campaign, in the midst of the erupting Rezko scandals in the media, on April 8, 2005, the Tribune reported that Stroger “has selected beleaguered businessman and political powerbroker Antoin “Tony” Rezko as one of the honorary chairs of his campaign fundraiser next month.”

Stroger appointed Rezko’s wife Rita to the Cook County Employee Appeals Board, which hears cases filed by fired or disciplined workers, at a part-time salary of $37,000 a year.

According to documents filed in the Rezko corruption case, this was Rita’s sole income when she supposedly came up with a $125,000 down payment and secured a $500,000 mortgage to buy the $625,00 lot next to Obama. Less than a year after Obama bought his strip of land, Rita sold the rest of the lot to attorney Michael Sreenan, and made a profit of more than $50,000.

On February 27, 2007, the Sun-Times pointed out that Obama’s “new neighbor, Michael Sreenan,” had contributed $5,000 to Obama’s campaigns. Less than a year after buying the lot, Sreenan put it up for sale for $1.5 million in October 2007.

Of course John Stroger will not be answering any questions about corruption, or any other matter, because he died on January 18, 2008. His former chief of staff and godson, Orlando Jones, will not be talking either because he was found dead of self-inflicted gun wounds in September 2007, “just as a corruption inquiry targeting him was heating up,” according to a September 7, 2007 report by CBS News channel 2 Chicago.”

There is plenty more in the article about the Obama’s and Valerie Jarrett’s ties to chicago corruption.

http://therealbarackobama.wordpress.com/2008/03/29/pringle-barack-obama-wizard-of-oz/

Christopher Kelly dies of apparent suicide, September 12, 2009

“Christopher Kelly, who recently plead guilty to kickback schemes, with strong ties to Rod Blagojevich, Tony Rezko and
ultimately back to Barack Obama, is dead. From the Chicago SunTimes, September 12, 2009.

“Key Blagojevich adviser Christopher Kelly dead”

“Christopher Kelly, a key figure in the federal corruption investigation of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, is dead, sources said.

Christopher Kelly, 51, of Burr Ridge, was once the master of Blagojevich’s lucrative campaign fund and the “go-to” guy in the ex-governor’s administration.”

“Kelly was found at 7:01 a.m. by his family, according to a report given to the Cook County Medical Examiner. He was pronounced dead at 10:46 a.m., sources said. Kelly died of an apparent “aspirin overdose,” a law enforcement source said.

Just days ago, after pleading guilty to being involved in an illegal kickback scheme involving O’Hare Airport and his company, BCI Commercial Roofing, Inc., Kelly said he was under pressure from federal prosecutors to cooperate in their corruption probe of Blagojevich.”

Read more

Christopher Kelly death investigated as homicide, September 13, 2009

“Kelly dies of possible overdose
Authorities say death may be suicide but are investigating it as homicide”

“Kelly, 51, who was to report to federal prison officials this week to start serving an 8-year sentence, died Saturday at Stroger Hospital in what authorities said was a possible suicide from an over-the-counter medication. An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday, and police in Chicago and south suburban Country Club Hills are conducting a death investigation.

Kelly’s death ended a tumultuous year in his life. He twice pleaded guilty to federal charges. He was estranged from his wife. And he faced serious financial problems, partly due to gambling debts. But Kelly indicated he was not going to turn on Blagojevich despite pressure from prosecutors.”

“A street-smart businessman who used connections and savvy to make millions, Kelly parlayed his wealth into power before becoming a member of Blagojevich’s “kitchen cabinet” of advisers. He had been at the former governor’s side through much of his political life since he ran for governor.”

“The Cook County medical examiner’s office said Stroger Hospital officials told them that Kelly apparently died of an overintoxication of salicylate, a drug used in anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications such as aspirin.

Authorities said Kelly was in his 2007 Cadillac Escalade in the parking lot of a lumber yard at 173rd Street and Cicero Avenue in Country Club Hills — a few miles from his Markham office — Friday night when he began vomiting. Sources said a girlfriend of Kelly’s drove him to nearby Oak Forest Hospital of Cook County. The Escalade remained there Saturday afternoon, guarded by police.”

Read more

Dead men don’t talk.

Or do they?

To learn more about Rod Blagojevich, Tony rezko, Barack Obama, et al and the events leading up to the Blagojevich trial visit:

Blagojevich Trial 101

Blagojevich trial, May 1, 2010, Pay to play politics, Obama Blagojevich Rezko corruption cronies, Chicago corruption, Democrats Republicans Mainstream media complicit, Conspiracy?

Blagojevich trial, May 1, 2010, Pay to play politics, Obama Blagojevich Rezko corruption cronies

“The investigation dubbed “Operation Board Games,” into the influence peddling within the cesspool of corruption that encompasses Illinois politicians from both major parties, has developed into multiple subplots, many of which feature Barack Obama.

Therefore, Obama should start bidding for the starring role in the movie that is sure to follow the criminal trials involved in this case because he has absolutely no chance of winning the White House, even if the leaders of the Democratic party allow this sorry charade to carry on and his name appears on the ballot.

The major media organizations continue to ignore a story that is destined to become the biggest political scandal of the decade, except for a bleep here and there. By now this can only mean one of two things. They are either unwilling to commit the manpower necessary to connect the dots of all the subplots or they know the Republicans will supply the goods free of charge the minute Obama becomes the nominee.”…Journalist Evelyn Pringle, April 21, 2008

 

The Democrats, Republicans and Mainstream Media allowed Barack Obama to slip through the 2008 election cycle without being vetted, without being adequately challenged.

Why?

Some or all of the following words apply:

Corruption

Status quo

Stupidity

Conspiracy

Party politics over country

 

From Evelyn Pringle at The Real Obama, April 21, 2008.

“This two-part article is the last article in a 3-part series. The first two, Barack Obama — Wizard of Oz and Barack Obama — Operation Board Games for Slumlords, cover Obama’s rise to fame in the political mafia of Illinois, bankrolled by the now infamous Syrian-born influence peddler, Antoin “Tony” Rezko.

They also give the details of Obama’s involvement in a slumlord business largely operating out of the Chicago-based Davis, Miner & Barnhill law firm, which hired Obama in 1993, with his boss, Allison Davis, reaping in the profits with Rezko‘s development company, Rezmar.

The “Board Games For Slumlord” article gives in-depth details of the federal investigation along with the names of people who are listed as “Co-Schemers” and “Individuals” in the indictments issued thus far. Therefore for the most part, this article will refer to all the scams collectively as what prosecutors refer to as “pay-to-play” schemes.

The mainstream media continues to refer to the corruption trial currently taking place in a Federal courthouse in Chicago as the Rezko case, never mentioning the fact that Rezko is sitting in the courtroom alone at the defendant’s table only because many of the co-defendants have already pleaded guilty, or have not been indicted yet.

Some of the people listed in the indictments as co-schemers and individuals include William Cellini, a long-standing Republican powerbroker in Illinois, and Robert Kjellander, treasurer for the Republican National Committee.

In the April 3, 2008 Chicago Sun-Times, Mark Brown wrote: “For more than three decades, William Cellini has been the unseen hand pulling the strings of Illinois government, adroitly manipulating it to his purpose.”

“That purpose,” Brown noted, “was mainly to make himself rich — through lobbying fees and insider contracts, government loans and leases for his real estate developments, and finally the coup de grace, his own riverboat casino company.”

Cellini was a co-founder of Commonwealth Realty Advisors, “a firm that has received hundreds of millions of dollars in pension funds to invest on behalf of retired state employees and teachers,” according to a report by Rick Pearson in the April 6, 2008 Chicago Tribune.

The Feds have several incriminating taped conversations between Cellini and the co-schemers and after hearing the tapes, Sun-Time reporter, Mark Brown wrote:

“That Cellini would slip up and allow himself to be caught on a federal wiretap is nothing short of a miracle to those of us who have marveled at his career and attempted to expose his deals where we could — mostly in vain and always too late to foil him.””

“Rezko is widely known to be a bipartisan influence peddler. During his opening statement, Rezko’s lead defense attorney, Joseph Duffy, told the jury that Rezko raised money for Democrats and Republicans alike, such as former Cook County Board President, John Stroger, and Representative Luis Gutierrez, Democrats, and former Governor Jim Edgar, a Republican, along with current Governor Rod Blagojevich and Obama, both Democrats.

Duffy told the jurors that Rezko “met Barack Obama when he was in Harvard Law School and tried to hire him” to be the lawyer for his development company. During 2003 and 2004, he said, Rezko helped organize fundraisers for both President Bush and Obama

Persons who have avoided trial in the Board Games case by pleading guilty to corruption charges include the government’s star witness, Stuart Levine, a Chicago businessman who had been a major fundraiser for Republicans in Illinois for decades, including Bush.

Levine was the first defendant nailed in the Board Games investigation. The FBI confronted him four years ago on May 20, 2004, and although he was cooperating with the Feds for some time, he did not enter an official guilty plea until October 2006.

Defendants who pleaded guilty as early as September 2005, include Chicago attorney, Steve Loren, a lawyer for the teacher’s retirement pension fund, Joseph Cari, an attorney and former finance chairman for the national Democratic National Committee, and Jacob Kiferbaum, owner of a Chicago area construction company.”

“The first indictment alleged that Rezko participated in a scheme to obtain millions of dollars by shaking down firms doing business before two Illinois regulatory boards, the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) and the Hospital Facilities Planning Board, on which Levine served. In the press release, Fitzgerald stated:

“This indictment describes a frenzy of corrupt scheming, particularly in April and May 2004, in which political insiders sought to manipulate the activities of two state boards to fleece investment firms and individuals. The defendants and their associates put the word out loud and clear: you have to pay to play in Illinois.””

“Allison Davis, Obama’s boss at the law firm, is also listed in legal documents as playing a part in setting up a major extortion attempt in the Board Games case.”

“The first two articles in this series reported that Blagojevich was supposed to be the candidate for President, not Obama. That assertion was based on testimony in the trial by the government’s star witness, Stuart Levine, about conversations he had with Rezko.

That one of the main goals of the “pay-to-play” schemes was to raise money for a presidential run by Blagojevich was collaborated by testimony on April 15, 2008, by Joseph Cari.

He told the jury about a conversation he had with Blagojevich himself in 2003, in which Blagojevich told him that it would be easer for him to raise money then a senator because now that he was governor, Blagojevich had the power to hand out contracts and state business to people who contributed to his campaign.”

“Obama’s political career was bankrolled by the same gang that planned to make Blagojevich president. For instance, Fortunee Massuda, another participant identified in the “pay-to-play” schemes, contributed $25,000 to Blagojevich compared to $2,000 to Obama. Michel Malek, another participant, threw $25,000 to Blagojevich and $10,500 to Obama.

Ali Ata, another guy listed as a co-schemer in one indictment, was made executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority, and he contributed $25,000 to Blagojevich and $5,000 to Obama.

Jay Wilton, identified by prosecutors as a major contributor to Blagojevich, is the owner of Wilton Partners, a construction company in California. He donated $50,000 to Blagojevich shortly after his firm cinched an $83 million contract with the state to refurbish the Illinois tollway’s oasis rest stops. Wilton also gave $5,000 to Obama.

Joe Cari donated $15,000 to Blagojevich but only gave $1,335 to Obama.

A trial exhibit produced by an FBI agent, identifies major contributors who donated $1.43 million to Blagojevich between 2001 and 2004. The Chicago Sun-Times compared the exhibit to government campaign records on Obama and found he received more than $220,000 from many of the same donors between 2001 and 2004.

John Rogers, the head of Ariel Capital, an investment firm that ended up with major money from the pension funds, is on the FBI’s summary of Blagojevich’s top contributors. He also gave Obama $25,000.”

“Daniel Mahru, a major player in the Chicago slumlord racket, has reportedly flipped in the Board Games case and is cooperating with the prosecution. He is the owner of Automatic Ice Company, which donated $10,000 to Blagojevich. Mahru gave $5,000 to Obama.

Attorney, Jack Carriglio, contributed $25,000 to Blagojevich and was appointed to the TRS Board. He also gave $1000 to Obama.

After Rezko’s indictment was unsealed in October 2006, the first report in the Chicago Tribune noted, “Obama donated $11,500 to charity — a total that represents what Rezko contributed to the senator’s federal campaign fund.”

That statement intentionally leads readers to believe that Obama donated all campaign contributions from Rezko to charity, which is so far from the truth that it’s laughable.

On November 5, 2006, the Tribune reported that, Obama said Rezko raised as much as $60,000 for him during his political career. The next day, the Sun-Times quoted Obama as saying: “I did however donate campaign contributions from Rezko to charity.”

The Obama camp stuck with the $50,000 or $60,000 story for nearly a year until Obama’s March 14, 2008 interviews with the Chicago Sun-Times and Tribune and the team of reporters pinned him down and the amount added up to $250,000.”

 

“A podiatrist, Fortunee Massuda, selected to a serve “on a powerful state health-care oversight panel is a partner in a real estate venture with a top Blagojevich fundraiser and counselor who recommended her appointment,” the report stated.

Massuda’s connection to Antoin Rezko, the Blagojevich fundraiser and adviser, was not publicly disclosed when the governor appointed her to the Health Facilities Planning Board on August 12, 2003, the Times pointed out.

The report also noted that Massuda was one of “several members” appointed by Blagojevich to sit on the board, “after the governor won legislative approval” to overhaul its membership. That would be the “legislative approval” that Obama signed off on.”

“And let there be no doubt, Obama is a member of this corrupt gang. On January 22, 2007 ABC News in Chicago announced that Senator Obama “is supporting Mayor Daley’s re-election bid despite a series of City Hall corruption scandals.”

Mayor Daley endorsed Obama for president a few weeks ago and the mayor’s brother Bill is now an Obama advisor, the report noted.

“So in the spirit of political payback, Obama is endorsing Daley for re-election over two African American challengers despite a series of City Hall corruption scandals that Obama called deeply troubling as recently as a few months ago.”

ABC reported that Obama said, “Daley’s overall record, his style of inclusion and his love of Chicago make him a better choice than challengers.”

Obama also endorsed Daley’s running mates for City Clerk, Miguel Del Valle, and Stepanie Neeley, for Treasurer, ABC News added. It should be noted, that the last City Clerk just got out of prison after being convicted in the Hired Truck scandal, and has written a book about the corruption in the Daley administration.

Five months after Obama publicly endorsed Daley, a report by David Jackson and John McCormick in the June 12, 2007 Tribune noted that:

“Obama endorsed former Ald. Dorothy Tillman (3rd), calling her “a very early supporter of my campaign.” Tillman was then under fire for her stewardship of the scandal-plagued Harold Washington Cultural Center, where contracts benefited members of her family.

“Obama supported the re-election of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose administration is embroiled in corruption probes.”

And during the race for Cook County Board president, Obama predictably endorsed Todd Stroger over a Republican and was criticized for calling Stroger “a good progressive” despite allegations of job-rigging to favor members of Stroger’s 8th Ward organization,” according to the report.

On September 5, 2007, the New York Post reported that: “A man who has long been dogged by charges that the bank his family owns helped finance a Chicago crime figure will host a Windy City fund-raiser tonight for Senator Barack Obama.”

Alex Giannoulias became Illinois state treasurer last year after Obama vouched for him, has pledged to raise $100,000 for the senator’s Oval Office bid, the Post noted.”

Read more:

http://therealbarackobama.wordpress.com/2008/04/21/pringle-barack-obama-subplots-of-operation-board-games/

The information about Barack Obama, easily available on the internet early in 2008, would have prevented any other candidate running for office in this country from moving forward. Why was Obama allowed to escape this scrutiny. What entities made this possible?

If the trial of Rod Blagojevich does not display this rampant corruption before the world, we have a very serious problem.

 

To learn more about Rod Blagojevich, Tony rezko, Barack Obama, et al and the events leading up to the Blagojevich trial visit:

Blagojevich Trial 101

Blagojevich trial, William Cellini, Testimony, Blagojevich Rezko Obama corruption buddies, Pay to play politics

Blagojevich trial, William Cellini, Testimony, Blagojevich Rezko Obama corruption buddies

The Blagojevich defense team is trying to bar testimony from convicted Blagojevich corruption buddies who have not been sentenced yet. There are so many to choose from.

From the Chicago Tribune, November 16, 2008.

” Connections could touch every somebody”

“To fully appreciate our politics you’ve got to look at the connections. Sadly, this task is beyond the national press and some locals besotted with our renowned vintage, Combine Kool Aid.
But you readers have the mental agility to follow along.
So as U.S. District Judge James Zagel accepted the not guilty plea, Cellini stood with his defense lawyer, Dan Webb.
“I had a glass of beer last night,” Cellini told Zagel, saying he had no problem following the court proceedings. The three talked as if they knew each other well. They do.
Cellini is accused of helping shake down a Hollywood producer and politically connected Chicago investor Thomas Rosenberg for $1.5 million in campaign cash for Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Cellini also is accused as a point man in a plot to remove U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald as federal prosecutor.”

“Cellini really began to pile up the cash when then-Gov. Thompson gave him a state gaming license. Webb and Zagel were young prosecutors under then-U.S. Atty. Thompson. Later, Zagel was director of the state’s Department of Revenue under Thompson. Webb ran the State Police.
Everybody knows somebody. So, no, Illinois politics isn’t a Robert Ludlum novel.
Illinois is Six Degrees of Bill Cellini.”

“The Combine wants Fitzgerald promoted out of town. But President-elect Barack Obama has promised newspaper editorial boards he would keep Fitzgerald in Chicago to fight political corruption.
That’s the same President-elect Obama with Mayor Daley’s guy Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, and another Daley guy, David Axelrod, as Obama’s chief strategist. The mayor’s brother Billy is one of Obama’s chief economic advisers. Whew!
Some political analysts become quite upset when “Daley machine” and “Obama” are mentioned in my column. They feel compelled to give me a vigorous corrective. But this same Flat Earth society denied the existence of a Combine for years, then shut up for a while when Obama’s real estate fairy Tony Rezko was convicted in the federal government’s Operation Board Games probe.

“The case exposed the Combine in detail, illustrating how Republican and Democratic insiders stacked state pensi”on boards to reap millions upon millions in pension investment fees. The Cellini case is fruit of Rezko’s tree.
It’s nice to be connected when things are going well, but since Fitzgerald arrived, things haven’t gone well. Some are sweating the Cellini indictment, like state Sen. James DeLeo (D-How You Doin?).
DeLeo has not been charged with anything. But the last thing he wants is his friend Cellini facing years in prison. Does Cellini have a good singing voice? Who knows?”

Read more:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-kass-cellini-bdnov16,0,4612076.column?page=1

To learn more about Rod Blagojevich, Tony rezko, Barack Obama, et al and the events leading up to the Blagojevich trial visit:

Blagojevich Trial 101

Blagojevich Rezko Obama, Blagojevich trial, April 24, 2010, Obama subpoena, Redacted motion segments, Obama throw Rezko under bus?

Blagojevich Rezko Obama, Blagojevich trial, April 24, 2010

Will Barack Obama be subpoened to testify in the Rod Blagojevich trial?

Will Obama throw Tony Rezko under the bus?

Will Tony Rezko open up about his schemes with Obama?

If Rezko clams up, will Stuart Levine, the key witness in the Rezko trial, supply the details about Obama’s involvement?

We now have the defense team and the prosecution dipping into the pool of corruption cronies tied to Blagojevich and Obama.

From John Kass of the Chicago Tribune.

“Blagojevich sends not-so-subtle message to Obama”
“Rod Blagojevich finally made good on a promise: He put President Barack Obama right in the middle of Blagojevich’s own political corruption case.

And now it’s finally clear why, from the moment of Blagojevich’s arrest in December 2008, White House spinners loudly portrayed our former Gov. Dead Meat as some drooling, raving lunatic.

A lunatic is not to be believed, and Dead Meat will continue to be characterized as such by Obama defenders. But raving lunatics care little for their own survival. And in an amazing defense motion filed Thursday, Blagojevich proved once again that he is quite sane.

He wants Obama to testify in his federal criminal case. The feds allege that Blagojevich conspired to sell off Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat, among other charges.

Obama’s former patron and real estate fairy, the convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko, is a key player in the government’s case. Blagojevich’s aim is to undercut what Rezko has told investigators.

And now Blago wants the president to do the undercutting from the witness stand, with the nation riveted to his every recollection of his days in Chicago politics, hanging with Tony and the guys, with the midterm November elections approaching.

“President Obama has pertinent information as to the character of Mr. Rezko,” the Blagojevich filing states. “President Obama can testify to Mr. Rezko’s reputation for truthfulness, as well as his own opinion of Mr. Rezko’s character. Based on the relationship that President Obama and Mr. Rezko had, President Obama can provide important information as to Mr. Rezko’s plan, intent, opportunity, habit and modus operandi.””

“Thursday’s filing quotes an account by Rezko suggesting that when Obama was an Illinois state senator, his campaign received political cash from Rezko. It also points to assertions by Rezko insinuating that he and Obama had conversations about a casino deal in Rosemont that Rezko stood to make a killing on.
“Rezko has stated to the government that he and the public official [believed to be Obama] had certain conversations about gaming legislation and administration, which the public official denies having had,” the filing states.

“President Obama is the only one who can testify as to the veracity of Mr. Rezko’s allegations above.”

It’s no secret that some in journalism get offended when anyone dares mention that the president was involved in Chicago politics. But the filing is not only a legal document, it’s a political message from Blagojevich to Obama. So allow me to translate the Chicago Way.

“Dear Barack, my old friend. I want you to use all your powers, all your skills, to make me an offer I can’t refuse. I’m Mr. Celebrity-get-me-out-of-here, and you better get me out of here. Thanks, Rod.”

The most interesting portions of the filing were supposed to be kept secret. Whole sections were redacted (i.e., blacked out) and remained so for hours.

But there appears to have been a clerical error. And Rich Miller of The Capitol Fax Blog revealed a way to unlock the redacted parts. So we followed Mr. Miller’s easy instructions, pressed a few keys on the computer, and presto!

All the redacted material was magically reinstated.”

“It’s not good for Obama. But whether you agree or disagree with his politics, it’s clear that he’s in a difficult position.
His former close buddy, Rezko — “That’s not the Tony Rezko I know” — still swings like some albatross from his neck, and it’s getting quite stinky. It’s hard to transcend the old politics of the past with that dead bird weighing you down.

And his political guys, who were sent from Mayor Richard Daley’s City Hall to run his administration, have served him poorly. They shouldn’t have let this get anywhere near the president.”

 Read more:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-met-kass-friday-20100423,0,983180.column?page=1&track=rss

US Chamber of Commerce, Obama, Chamber pledges to stop Obama agenda, Play big role in November elections, President Thomas Donohue, Health care legislation, Fiscal insolvency, Valerie Jarrett

“Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”…George Bernard Shaw

Those who can’t do, won’t do, have never successfully run a business and hate business are part of the Obama Administration…Citizen Wells

 

From USA Today, January 12, 2010.

“U.S. Chamber pledges to stop Obama agenda, play big role in Nov. elections”

“U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue attacked President Obama’s domestic agenda Tuesday, criticizing Democratic efforts on climate change, health care and oversight of the nation’s financial system.

And he pledged to use the chamber’s might in November’s elections to take on the president’s allies in Congress.”

“The chamber will carry out “the largest, most aggressive” campaign in its 100-year history as it works to influence the outcome of mid-term congressional elections and stop legislation it views as harmful to the economy, he said. “As Americans choose a new House and senators this fall,” Donohue added, “the chamber will highlight lawmakers and candidates who support a pro-jobs agenda and hold accountable those who don’t.””

Read more:

http://blogs.usatoday.com/onpolitics/2010/01/us-chamber-pledges-to-stop-obama-agenda-play-big-role-in-nov-elections.html

Apparently Obama and US Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue are not good buddies. Of course, the Obama Administration, a model of business acumen and job creation, has it’s answer to the US Chamber of Commerce in the Business Roundtable. Valerie Jarrett is the president’s liaison to the corporate world. You remember Jarrett.

“I was in the process of reporting more on Valerie Jarrett and her past ties to corruption in Chicago and I will do so. For now, Michelle Malkin does an excellent job in this video of exposing the truth about Obama and Jarrett and their motives for getting the Olympics for Chicago.”…Valerie Jarrett, corrupt slumlord Obama friend

From the LA Times, October 25, 2009.

“White House confronts the U.S. Chamber of Commerce”

“WASHINGTON — The Obama White House, stepping in where other Democrats feared to tread, has launched a potentially risky fight with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — attempting to bypass the nation’s most powerful business organization and develop independent ties to corporate America.

In recent weeks, President Obama, his Energy secretary and one of his other most senior advisors have begun criticizing the chamber publicly, casting it as a profligate lobbying organization at odds with its members in opposing the administration on such issues as consumer protection and climate change.

At the same time, the administration has been meeting privately with prominent corporate leaders — more than 60 of them since June — in an effort to develop its own pipeline to the business community.
The White House also has gone out of its way to cultivate another corporate group, the Business Roundtable, which is much smaller than the chamber but represents chief executives of many of the nation’s largest corporations.

“Our strategy is to reach out directly to the business community,” said Valerie Jarrett, the president’s liaison to the corporate world. “This is a shift. Previously, the chamber had served as the sole intermediary for business. That’s not our approach.”

Jarrett praised the Business Roundtable, saying that it brings member CEOs to White House meetings in addition to Washington lobbyists.

In an indirect dig at the chamber, Jarrett said the roundtable meetings were more substantive and valuable because they included not just a trade association leader but someone who actually runs a business.

The White House role in criticizing the chamber has, predictably, riled Republicans. But it also has made some Democrats nervous.”

Read more:

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/oct/25/nation/na-chamber25

Here are some exerpts from the speech of US Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue, January 12, 2010.

“Think for a moment about the nation’s job creators—the men and women who run our small and large businesses—as well as those who lead our universities, our health care facilities and the many other institutions that employ our workforce. If you were in their shoes today, would you jump quickly into new investments and hiring? Or would you wait for some clarity, and some common sense, to take hold first?

Most of these job creators would like nothing more than to keep their workers employed, create new jobs, and bring some hope and relief to families struggling without a paycheck. But when they look at what’s going on in Washington, in the states, and around the world, what do they see?

They see massive tax increases on the horizon—not just the expiration of the tax cuts passed over the last decade, but also hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes.

They see health care legislation that contains a burdensome mandate on employers and virtually no meaningful reforms to improve quality or control costs.

They see a climate change bill and potential EPA regulations that could significantly raise energy prices and impose new layers of bureaucracy on their organizations.

They see financial services legislation moving forward that could choke off their access to capital at a time when lending is already very tight.

America’s job creators also see a renewed push by unions to pass card check and many other measures to control the workplace.

They see the trial bar working with their allies in Congress and with many state attorneys general to expand opportunities for new litigation.

They see the rise of trade isolationism at home and abroad that could threaten their export markets—and now, renewed fears about terrorism.

And our job creators see the federal government planning to expand the national debt by at least $9 trillion over the next decade—more debt than has been piled up in all previous years since George Washington. They see many states going broke as well. What will the impact be on their companies and employees?

These are the uncertainties that job creators are wrestling with—uncertainties that call into question how quick or strong our economic recovery will be. And no one is paying a higher price than the American worker.

Over seven million Americans have lost their jobs since the recession began. Ten percent of the workforce is unemployed—a number that soars beyond 17 percent when you add those who have stopped looking for jobs and the millions of part-time workers who want to work full-time.”

Read more:

http://www.uschamber.com/press/speeches/2010/100112_sab

By the way, the Chamber of Commerce of a major NC city, was my first business account assigned to me when I was young. It was a pleasure to present this article.

William M. Daley, Democrat party, Obama approval rating, Listen to American people, Alabama Representative Parker Griffith, Washington Post warning, Far left agenda

A warning to the Democrat Party from the Washington Post (hardly a conservative rag) to listen to the American public and embrace centrist viewpoints.

“Keep the Big Tent big”

“The announcement by Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith that he is switching to the Republican Party is just the latest warning sign that the Democratic Party — my lifelong political home — has a critical decision to make: Either we plot a more moderate, centrist course or risk electoral disaster not just in the upcoming midterms but in many elections to come.
Rep. Griffith’s decision makes him the fifth centrist Democrat to either switch parties or announce plans to retire rather than stand for reelection in 2010. These announcements are a sharp reversal from the progress the Democratic Party made starting in 2006 and continuing in 2008, when it reestablished itself as the nation’s majority party for the first time in more than a decade. That success happened for one major reason: Democrats made inroads in geographies and constituencies that had trended Republican since the 1960s. In these two elections, a majority of independents and a sizable number of moderate Republicans joined the traditional Democratic base to sweep Democrats to commanding majorities in Congress and to bring Barack Obama to the White House.
These independents and Republicans supported Democrats based on a message indicating that the party would be a true Big Tent — that we would welcome a diversity of views even on tough issues such as abortion, gun rights and the role of government in the economy.
This call was answered not just by voters but by a surge of smart, talented candidates who came forward to run and win under the Democratic banner in districts dominated by Republicans for a generation. These centrists swelled the party’s ranks in Congress and contributed to Obama’s victories in states such as Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado and other Republican bastions.
But now they face a grim political fate. On the one hand, centrist Democrats are being vilified by left-wing bloggers, pundits and partisan news outlets for not being sufficiently liberal, “true” Democrats. On the other, Republicans are pounding them for their association with a party that seems to be advancing an agenda far to the left of most voters.

The political dangers of this situation could not be clearer.
Witness the losses in New Jersey and Virginia in this year’s off-year elections. In those gubernatorial contests, the margin of victory was provided to Republicans by independents — many of whom had voted for Obama. Just one year later, they had crossed back to the Republicans by 2-to-1 margins.
Witness the drumbeat of ominous poll results. Obama’s approval rating has fallen below 49 percent overall and is even lower — 41 percent — among independents. On the question of which party is best suited to manage the economy, there has been a 30-point swing toward Republicans since November 2008, according to Ipsos. Gallup’s generic congressional ballot shows Republicans leading Democrats. There is not a hint of silver lining in these numbers. They are the quantitative expression of the swing bloc of American politics slipping away.”

Read more:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/23/AR2009122302439_pf.html